We’ve lived in our home for 11 years, and it’s the only home our boys have lived in. I was a teacher and my husband was an associate chiropractor in Ankeny when we first moved. Now that he has his own office in Waukee and I’m not teaching it’s time to move so we can have more time with Dad.
By far the hardest part of moving is handling this transition with our kids. Here are a few of the icky truths of moving.
Confession Time: I keep our home clean, but it’s not always tidy. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve never touched up any paint in the years we’ve lived here. Knowing I wanted to have our house immaculately clean for showings, my mother and I spent two days scrubbing, painting, and perfecting the house. We even used toothpicks to clean!
Once that was done, I found I was really short-fused with my kids. When they left their dirty dishes out, I became a crazy lady. It took me a few days to realize I was being unfair to them and making this tough situation harder on everyone. The rules of the house had changed, but I hadn’t told them.
I decided to enlist their help with things like organizing throw pillows, cleaning their rooms, making their beds, helping switch laundry, and loading/unloading the dishwasher. **Why didn’t I have them do this earlier?!?!**
Like I mentioned, we’ve lived here for 11 years. That means we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. For three weeks, I sorted, organized, donated, and packed up everything I didn’t think we’d need for a few months. This has really helped in keeping our house clean. I’m thinking we should just get rid of everything in our rented storage unit! (Just kidding!)
This really stressed out our kids. In addition to keeping the house clean, they no longer had their toys, books, and most stuffed animals they were used to seeing every day. We kept the Legos and a few other toys in their rooms, but that’s it. Over the past weeks, they’ve been getting used to the lack of toy selection. I’m so glad it’s nice enough for them to be outside playing too!
Leaving Their Home
I recently found my six year old walking around the house taking pictures of everything. Even the door knobs. He was afraid he would forget what things looked like. The kids can’t imagine living anywhere else. We have a city park at the end of our yard that they love. They have a big playroom in the basement. They love everything about their house!
To help overcome this sadness, we started bringing them to the houses we’ve been looking at buying. It’s a little bit of a dangerous game in that they love weird things about each house which makes it perfect to them. However, they have been great about understanding that we are looking at everything about each house, not just whether it has a blue striped bathroom. This has also helped spark a little excitement! (As long as we look at no more than three homes in one day they have informed us.)
Leaving Their School
In addition to leaving their home, our kids will be changing schools. They LOVE their current school and this is the hardest part for them. They have had the same friends for a long time and the thought of making new friends is overwhelming. They have been on a tour of their new school and they get to spend a half-day there soon. I think this will help them understand what their future will be.
I am excited to see what our future holds. I know the boys will LOVE their new home and having dad around more too. I tell people we’re just stuck in the “ugly” right now. The kids don’t understand there are great things to come which makes the bad parts a little better. Patience is our family motto right now!
Have you moved with your kids? What made the process easier?
If you’re getting ready to move, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Des Moines Neighborhoods to find the best area for your family!